April 15, 2013 - Calm Before the Storm

Calm Before the Storm The Space Shuttle Columbia is seen poised for launch just prior to the start of the STS-90 mission, which began fifteen years ago this week. The period of seeming calm was in stark contrast to the flurry of activity that ensued during the sixteen-day mission. The crew of seven astronauts spent most of their time in the Neurolab, a Spacelab module housed in the cargo bay that was specially outfitted for research into the human nervous system. The Neurolab studies included a total of twenty-six experiments involving not only the crew, but also crickets, fish, and rodents onboard Columbia. The crew conducted experiments relating to blood pressure, balance, coordination, and sleep patterns, all of which will benefit researchers who are studying illnesses that can affect these functions.

Image Credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

April 15-21, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 15

Moon at apogee

1999: Landsat 7 launched

Tuesday 16

1867: Wilbur Wright born
: First captured V2 rocket launched from White Sands, NM
1965: First test-firing of Saturn V rocket first stage (S-IC)
1972: Apollo 16 launched

Wednesday 17

Mars in conjunction with Sun

1967: Surveyor 3 launched
1969: First X-24A lifting body glide test
1970: Apollo 13 crew returns to Earth
1998: STS-90 Columbia launched

Thursday 18

First Quarter Moon 8:31 AM ET

Friday 19

Mercury 2° south of Uranus

1967: Surveyor 3 lands on Moon
1971: Salyut 1 launched, first space station.
1982: Salyut 7 launched
1993: 200th Soviet / Russian spacewalk
2001: STS-100 Endeavour launched

Saturday 20

Astronomy Day (Spring)

Lyrid meteor shower

1972: Apollo 16 lands on Moon

Sunday 21

Lyrid meteor shower

1997: Cremated remains of 24 people launched into orbit aboard Pegasus rocket in first space funeral

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.